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Copyright 2000 by Occupational Safety & Health Council 3/2000 (01)


Introduction, Objectives

The Advantage of Implementing a Safety Management System

Occupational Safety Charter

Integrating Occupational Safety Management into Other

Management Functions
Establishing an Occupational Safety Management Model Suitable
for Hong Kong

Initial Status Review, Safety Policy

Organising for Safety
(1) Safety Organisation
(2) Safety Committees
(3) Safety Training
(4) Promotion of Safety and Health Awareness

Planning and Implementing

(1) In-house Safety Rules
(2) Evaluation of Job Related Hazards
(3) Personal Protection Programmes
(4) Emergency Preparedness
(5) Programme for Protecting Occupational Health
(6) Evaluating, Selecting and Controlling Sub-contractors
(7) Programme for Controlling Accidents and Eliminating Hazards

Measuring Performance
(1) Inspecting Hazardous Conditions
(2) Investigating Accidents and Incidents
(3) Safety Audit and Safety Review

Periodic Review
Action Plan, Conclusion

Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Occupational safety and health has recently become an important issue in many countries.
The Hong Kong SAR Government is actively involved in promoting a new strategy, that of
encouraging self-regulation as a means for organisations to manage safety and health in
the workplace. The main objective of self-regulation is for organisations to develop safety
management systems (SMS) that suit their needs, no matter what business they are in.
Moreover, an effective SMS can be used to manage and control both existing and potential

The effectiveness of a SMS reaches its peak when an organisation is able to combine
occupational safety and health issues into its business strategy. An effective SMS can also
help you to:
. reduce the risks to your employees and other people
. increase the efficiency of your
business operations
. help your organisation
to build a responsible

The Advantage of Implementing a Safety Management System
Whether as an idea or in full implementation, safety management systems are not new to
Hong Kong. Various local construction enterprises, public utilities and large-scale industrial
undertakings have already put these into place. Some of the government projects which
have already adopted a SMS have much better safety performance records than their
peers. These include:
. Airport Core Project .Housing Authority contracts .Works Bureau contracts

Other large enterprises such as electricity and gas companies, railways, some major
contractors, cargo container companies, hospitals, universities and government
departments have also started to develop their own safety management systems. In the
long run, a SMS which emphasises self-regulation will be more cost-effective in monitoring
and promoting safety and health in your organisation than a traditional system which
depends on law enforcement.

Occupational Safety Charter
The occupational safety charter is a document which highlights the
commitment of both employers and employees to create and maintain
a safe and healthy work environment. It spells out your safety goals and
states the responsibilities of various parties within your organisation.
We encourage employers to establish a safety charter and use it as a
basis for building a safety management system.

The occupational safety charter provides guidelines for both employers and employees
and encourages them to promote and implement occupational safety and health. It covers
the following areas:

. Policy . Inspections
The policy defines your commitment to Inspections ensure that you monitor
communicating, implementing any hazardous conditions. Besides
and maintaining inspections you must establish
a safe workplace. procedures to control
potential hazards
in the workplace by
adopting remedial
. Planning
Planning ensures that you review . Investigations
projects at the design stage so as to By analysing the causes of accidents and
minimise future risks. It also incidents in the workplace, you can
ensures that you have plans draw conclusions and
in place to deal take appropriate
with emergencies actions to avoid
safely and further instances.

. Sub-contracting
. Procedures By addressing the responsibilities of
Procedures ensure that your employees
your contractors, you can ensure that
clearly understand
they are both fully aware of and
the in-house safety
capable of meeting
rules and regulations,
their safety
and their obligations.

Integrating Occupational Safety Management into Other Management Functions
British Standard BS8800 is an important guideline for occupational safety management
systems. The standard has adopted two approaches. The first approach is based on the
Successful Health and Safety Management HS(G) 65 published by the British Health and
Safety Executive (HSE). An alternative approach is based on the environmental standard
BS EN ISO 14001. Basically, both are the same. By providing content in the form of guidelines
and recommendations, they suggest how you can integrate occupational safety
management into your other business management functions.

Model Based on HS(G) 65 Approach

External Factors Internal Factors

Initial and Periodic Status Review


Audit Organizing

Planning and Implementing

Measuring Performance

Information Link Control Link

Model Based on BS EN ISO 14001 Approach

Continual Improvement

Initial Status Review

Occupational Health and Safety Policy
Management Review
Checking and Implementation and Operation
Corrective Action

Establishing an Occupational Safety Management Model Suitable for Hong Kong
Organisations who are not truly committed to occupational safety and health (OS&H)
matters do not usually devote adequate resources to establish effective OS&H programmes.
Therefore, the most important step you can take is to establish a safety policy and the
related major elements of a safety management system. Referring to the existing status of
occupational safety and health management systems in Hong Kong, and based on BS8800,
we suggest you apply the occupational safety management model outlined below. It suits
local needs and can be applied to any organisation, whether for reference or for

Continual Initial Status

Improvement Review

Periodic Review Safety Policy

Measuring Safety
Performance Organizing

Planning and

Initial Status Review
The first step is to review your existing OS&H management system. This initial status review
will provide you with information that will influence your decisions on the scope, adequacy
and implementation of your existing system. It will also give you a baseline for measuring
safety performance. After carrying out an initial status review, you will have a better
appreciation of your existing OS&H

An initial status review compares

your existing safety management
system with related legislation, with
your occupational safety and health
guidelines and with best practice and
performance in related sectors. The
results of the review will help you to
establish safety policy, safety goals
and a safety plan. Refer to the
questionnaire Initial Occupational
Safety and Health Status Review.

Safety Policy
The safety policy states in clear and unambiguous terms your management's approach
and commitment to safety and health. It documents procedures for communicating,
implementing and maintaining the policy at all levels of your organisation. You should
review the policy periodically and amend it when necessary. Refer to the example Safety
Policy of ABC Department.

Organising for Safety
(1) Safety Organisation
Your safety organisation clearly defines the safety and health responsibilities of all
levels of staff to ensure that safety and health commitments are being implemented
within your organisation. It will also help to ensure that sufficient manpower resources
are provided to implement management's commitments and that external assistance
is acquired if necessary. Refer to the examples, Safety Organisation Chart and the
Description of Safety Responsibilities.

Description of Safety Responsibilities

General Manager

Marketing and Sales Manager Administrative Manager Project Manager Safety Officer

Sales Products and Accounting Administrative Project Safety

Representatives Material Planner Clerk Engineer Supervisor
Officer Assistant

Allocation of Safety and Health Responsibilities

Safety Organization

(2) Safety Committees

Safety committees provide a forum for staff with responsibilities for work safety and
health to formally address issues and take appropriate actions in relation to achieving
your safety management objectives. Committee members should represent all aspects
of the operation of your organisation and should be competent in their tasks. They
should be committed to safety and
health in your workplace and given the
necessary support so that they can
effectively perform their duties. The
safety committee should effectively
communicate its decisions and actions
to the persons responsible for their
Organising for Safety
(3) Safety Training
Safety training will equip your personnel with
the knowledge, skill and attitudes necessary to
perform their duties in a safe manner. It includes Safety Training
procedures to ensure that all personnel, particularly
new recruits and personnel transferred to new
assignments, are given proper safety and health
training that is relevant to their duties. It also
includes programmes developed to identify
training needs to ensure that appropriate
training is provided. Refer to the examples, Safety
Training Courses and Safety Training Course

Safety Training Courses Plan Form Safety Training Course Roster

(4) Promotion of Safety and Health Awareness

By promoting a general awareness of safety and
health in the workplace you will be able to develop
a culture of safety and health in your organisation.
Relatively simple promotion techniques include
displaying the company safety policy, posters or
other visual material; distributing and promoting
your safety performance statistics; and organising
safety talks and video shows. Award schemes that
recognise and give credit to individuals, teams,
sections and departments demonstrating good
safety performance can also be very effective.

Planning and Implementing
After you have established a safety policy and safety goals for
your organisation, you must develop a number of programmes in
order to reach your goal. You should outline these programmes
in your safety plan. The content of a safety plan should include
the following:

(1) In-house Safety Rules

Safety rules provide personnel with a common understanding of their obligations and
responsibilities with respect to the achievement of your safety management objectives.
In-house safety rules and regulations should give clear instructions to personnel in all
areas. Safety rules and regulations should be documented, reviewed and revised as
necessary, and communicated to appropriate levels of your organisation.

(2) Evaluating Job Related Hazards

Evaluating job related hazards or potential hazards is a vital first step in developing basic
safe working procedures. Safe procedures begin with training personnel to perform tasks
in a safe manner; establishing and maintaining procedures to ensure that safe working
practices are followed; and documenting and maintaining a list of safe working procedures.
It is also important to periodically review and evaluate safe work procedures to ensure
that they remain relevant and material to the tasks being performed. Refer to the example
Job Safety Analysis Record.

How to Develop Job Safety Analysis?

Job Safety Analysis Record
Select a task which is
needed to be analyzed
Choose competent staff
to do the analysis

Divide the task into steps

Identify the potential hazards

in each step

Evaluate the risk of the hazards

Establish safety measures to

eliminate potential harzards

Planning and Implementing
(3) Personal Protection Programme
After considering other control
methods, protective equipment is Examples of Different Types of PPE
the last line of defence. As part
of your personal protection
programme, you should identify
actual or potential exposure to
hazards; select suitable equipment
to prevent or reduce the hazard;
and ensure the proper use of such
equipment. You must also maintain
records, enforce compliance and
regularly monitor personnel to
ensure they abide by the

(4) Emergency Preparedness

A key part of your safety management system is to develop and communicate plans
for effectively managing emergency situations. You must establish procedures to
identify, describe and respond to emergency situations; establish a programme of
drills and exercises to test and evaluate your preparedness for emergency actions; and
establish an effective programme to provide first aid and emergency treatment to
accident victims. Refer to the example Emergency Procedures in Case of Fire.
Sample of Emergency Procedures
in Case of Fire

Planning and Implementing
(5) Programme for Protecting Occupational Health
This programme should include regular monitoring; reducing exposure through
technological and administrative control measures; selecting, providing and
maintaining suitable personal protective equipment and supervising use; pre-
employment and periodic medical examinations of exposed workers; and training
and education of workers.

(6) Evaluating, Selecting and Controlling Sub-contractors

You must ensure that sub-contractors are fully aware of their safety obligations and
that you only employ sub-contractors who can meet these obligations. You must clearly
define the safety responsibilities and obligations of sub-contractors before they start
work; make sub-contracting personnel aware of safety rules and regulations as well
as instructions and procedures for safe working practices; and establish procedures to
evaluate the safety performance of sub-contractors.

Planning and Implementing
(6) Programme for Controlling Accidents and Eliminating Hazards
This programme's goal is controlling accidents and eliminating hazards before workers
are exposed to any adverse work environment. It includes setting policy for reviewing
engineering projects at the conception and design stages, setting parameters for
processes and materials to take account of any changes, and developing a regular
monitoring mechanism.

Measuring Performance
After implementing your safety plan, you should use the following methods to measure
your current safety and health performance to check whether your objectives have been

(1) Inspecting Hazardous Conditions

You must establish procedures to
Safety Inspection Chart
identify and rectify hazardous
conditions. This includes planning
and conducting inspections,
developing inspection check-lists,
recording hazards, and taking
preventive and immediate
corrective actions against hazards.
Refer to the example Safety
Inspection Chart.

(2) Investigating Accidents and

Investigations give you the means to
find out what has caused an accident
and to develop arrangements to
prevent recurrence. Your investigation
procedure should include reporting,
recording and investigating
Accident Investigation Report accidents; as well as keeping
accident statistics, analysing
accident causes and making
recommendations to prevent
recurrence. Also include a
mechanism to ensure that
any recommendations are
implemented promptly.
Refer to the example
Accident Investigation

Measuring Performance
(3) Safety Audit and Safety Review
Periodically you must conduct a safety audit of your safety management system to deter-
mine whether it is meeting the objectives of your safety plan. Your safety audit should be
both systematic and documented and the results should be reviewed by the management

Safety Audit Procedures

Periodic Review
To ensure your occupational safety management system is effective and in operation
throughout your organisation, senior management should conduct a periodic review. The
scope should include:
. Overall performance of the safety management system
. Performance of individual elements of the safety management system
. Results and recommendations of the safety audit or safety review
. Internal and external factors such as changes of legislation, organisation and technology
(refer to table of Internal and External Environmental Factors)
. Established action plan

Periodic Review
Performance measurement and

Internal External
factor factors

Change in
safety policy

Internal and External Environmental Factors

Action Plan
Establish an action plan for your organisation to define the rights and responsibilities of
your staff when carrying out improvement measures. Your action plan should also set
deadlines for completing improvement measures and prevention work, etc. Refer to the
example Action Plan Form.

Action Plan Form

Within the framework of a safety management
system, you can establish safety policy and
measures which suit your specific working
environment. Encourage both management
a n d n o n - m a n a g e m e n t s t a ff t o p a r t i c i p a t e
frequently in safety management activities.
Frequent participation will enhance the
occupational safety and health awareness of
all employees and remind them to follow safety
regulations. In the long run, your safety
management system will play an important role
in reducing your accident rate.

Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

During our day-to-day work, we should make every effort to minimise accidents and risks in the
workplace. To this end, adding safety and health elements to our management system is essential.
Nevertheless, it is important to know what your initial safety and health status is before enhancing
it. The following is a safety and health programme check which will help you to assess the
performance of your organisation in various aspects of safety and health.

Simply answer each of the questions by placing a check mark in the appropriate box. Assign
yourself 1 point for 'Yes', 1/2 point for 'Partly', and 0 points for 'No'. When you have completed all
of the questions use the scale at the bottom of the check-list to determine the level of your safety

Name of Organisation :

Workplace :

Date : Time : Reviewed by :

Section 1 : Safety Policy Yes No Partly

1. The organisation has a written safety policy.

2. The safety policy is signed by senior management.

3. Management are committed to Occupational Safety and

Health (OS&H) matters.

4. Management encourage employees to work safely and

follow safety rules.

Total: Score :

Section 2 : Safety Organisation

1. There is a clear safety organisation chart.

2. The responsibilities of employees in OS&H matters are

clearly defined.

3. A person from senior management or a director is

responsible for OS&H matters.

4. Employees understand and follow their OS&H


Total: Score :

Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Section 3 : Safety Committee Yes No Partly

1. There is a safety committee in the organisation.

2. The duties of the safety committee include workplace

inspections of OS&H.

3. The committee assists in accident investigations.

4. Members of the committee review inspection/

investigation reports.

5. Half of the committee members are staff


6. Besides the safety committee, there is a similar

functional group serving the same purpose.

Total: Score :

Section 4 : Safety Training

1. OS&H training is given to all employees.

2. Specific OS&H training is provided for supervisors.

3. Specific OS&H training is provided for management.

4. OS&H related information is provided by the organisation.

Total: Score :

Section 5 : Promotion of Safety and Health Awareness

1. There is a safety and health promotion programme
in the organisation.

2. Safety and health posters and information are displayed.

3. Management are actively participating and supporting

the safety and health promotion programme.

4. Employees are actively participating in OS&H promotion


Total: Score :

Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Section 6 : In-house Safety Rules Yes No Partly

1. General safety rules are established for the organisation.

2. All employees know and understand these rules.

3. Specific safety rules for hazardous jobs have been developed.

4. All safety rules are enforced.

Total: Score :

Section 7 : Evaluation of Job Related Hazards

1. The organisation assesses job risks to identify hazards in
various tasks.

2. The organisation establishes related preventive measures

according to the results of risk assessment.

3. Preventive measures include establishing safety method

statements, safety procedures and safety guidelines.

4. The organisation implements and conducts all of the

safety measures.

Total: Score :

Section 8 : Personal Protection Programme (PPE)

1. Local and international approved standards are used as
reference for purchasing personal protective equipment.

2. Suitable personal protective equipment is provided

for employees.

2. Employees are trained in the use and maintenance of

personal protective equipment.

3. Personal protective equipment is properly maintained.

Total: Score :

Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Section 9 : Emergency Preparedness Yes No Partly

1. There is an emergency preparedness plan for the organisation.
2. Fire prevention measures are included in the emergency
preparedness plan.

3. Suitable training is given to employees who are responsible

for emergency preparedness.
4. Emergency preparedness drills are conducted frequently.
5. There are adequate and suitable first aid facilities
in the organisation.
6. A competent first-aider is employed.

Total: Score :

Section 10 : Programme on Protection of Occupational Health

1. There is a plan to protect the occupational health of
2. Occupational health checks are given to employees.
3. Safe handling of chemicals is included in the occupational
health plan.
4. Noise control is included in the occupational health plan.
5. Safety issues in the workplace such as lighting, air quality and
work stress are included in the occupational health plan.

Total: Score :

Section 11 : Evaluation, Selection and Control of Sub-contractors

1. The organisation has a safety policy which evaluates, selects
and controls the safety performance of sub-contractors.
2. Sub-contractors are chosen on the basis of their past records
in safety and health performance.
3. Occupational safety meetings are conducted frequently with
4. The safety performance of sub-contractors is always checked
and reviewed by the organisation.
5. Punishment is given to those sub-contractors who have
a poor safety performance.

Total: Score :
Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Section 12 : Programme for Controlling Accidents

and Eliminating Hazards Yes No Partly

1. The organisation conducts risk assessment to find existing

and potential occupational safety and health hazards in
working processes.

2. Based on the results of the risk assessment, safety and health

measures related to working processes are established.

3. Employees understand these safety and health measures.

4. Maintenance procedures are provided with occupational

safety and health preventive measures.

5. Suitable safety procedures and professional training are

given to workers who are involved in the operation of
Total: Score :

Section 13 : Programme of Inspection of Hazardous Conditions

1. Periodic workplace safety inspections are conducted in
the organisation.

2. When potential hazards are identified, they are corrected


3. Inspection results are reported to the employees and the

safety committee.

4. Inspection reports are kept for safety performance analysis.

Total: Score :

Section 14 : Accident / Incident Investigation

1. All accidents / incidents are investigated.

2. All accidents / incidents are investigated

(no matter what the property loss is).

3. Results of investigations are reported in written form.

4. The organisation analyses the trend of accidents / incidents.

5. The safety committee participates in the investigations.

Total: Score :
Initial Occupational Safety and Health Status Review

Section 15 : Safety Audit and Safety Review Yes No Partly

1. A periodic safety review or safety audit is conducted within

the organisation.

2. A safety audit or review is conducted by an independent

safety auditor or safety review officer.

3. Results of the safety audit or review are used to examine

the organisation's safety management system.

4. The organisation establishes an action plan according to

the results of safety audit or review.

Total: Score :

Section 16 : Periodic Review

1. The organisation's safety management system is reviewed

2. Management staff is assigned to carry out the safety review.

3. An action plan is established after the review.

4. The action plan is implemented.

Total: Score :

Total Score :

How do you rate?

By adding up the scores of each section, you will obtain your total score. In order to check the
initial status of your organisation, please look at the table. If the score is not satisfactory, establish
or amend your organisation's safety plan. It is vital that you implement your safety plan to solve
problems related to safety and health.

Total Score Comment

Your organisation's safety management system meets the initial
64 - 72 requirement. An independent safety auditor can start to conduct a safety
audit for the organisation.

Only part of the safety management system meets the initial requirement. It
50 - 63 still needs improvement.

0 - 49 Your organisation lacks a safety management system. It needs to seek help.

Copyright 2000 by Occupational Safety & Health Council 3/2000 (01)